Starbucks and Oreos during bikini competition prep….what?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so sorry guys. To quickly bring you all up to speed, I’m 4 weeks out from my bikini competition. Yikes!

I’ve taken a completely different approach to my prep this time around. I’m happy with the foods I’m eating, feel energized, full, and excited to step on stage. My confidence is through the roof–I feel incredible (insert hair-flip emoji…is that what she’s doing? I don’t even know…I just pretend she’s hair flippin’ it up)

Anyway, right now, I’m sitting at Starbucks catching up on some work and I thought I would just share a quick post laying out what my meals look like for the day.

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Yeah, you saw that correctly. Starbucks. During prep.

Venti unsweetened 1/2 passion tea and 1/2 green tea (b/c metabolism, duh)

I applaud those of you who are ok with eating bland tilapia or chicken, brown rice and veggies 3x a day everyday. I’m happy that works for you. But for me, I love food. And in the past when I limited myself to this kind of diet, I failed miserably. I would binge eat at night and literally cry if I ate something “unhealthy”.

Now looking back, I giggle at myself. I can’t believe that I ever thought that I couldn’t achieve my fitness goals while enjoying the foods I love. I have a soft spot for Oreos, donuts, ice cream, and burgers…and I’ll eat these….but in moderation 

So…here’s what my meals for today looks like! Everything here is based on my daily macros that are calculated based on my height, fitness goals, weight, activity level. MyFitnessPal is a great resource to help you keep track of your macros!

Breakfast:

4 egg whites scrambled with 1/2 cup spinach

1/2 cup oatmeal (measured dry)

1 tablespoon snickerdoodle Buff Bake almond butter (mixed in my oatmeal since I loooove nut butters)

Mid-morning snack:

I’m usually pretty full from my breakfast so I typically just have a protein shake. Quick and easy!

Lunch:

4 oz chicken seasoned with Flavor God Lemon & Garlic

5 oz asparagus

2 Wasa Sourdough Cripsbread (sometimes I have 4 oz of red potatoes or an Oroweat country potato bun)

Afternoon snack:

4 oz tuna

2 oz chopped celery

Srirachaaaa (bring on the heat!)

Dinner:

I am obsessed with stir fry and throwing together whatever I have in my kitchen so this is what was on the menu tonight!

4 oz bison seasoned with Flavor God Everything Spicy

2 egg whites

Mixed veggies (like bell peppers, zucchini)

splash of Bragg’s liquid aminos

Post-workout meal:
I eat this within an hour of finishing my workout. And the moment you’ve been waiting for…

1/2 scoop of protein in water

And a sundae consisting of…

2 oreos

1 cup Arctic Zero Cookie Shake flavor

1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter

There you have it. Happy mind, happy tummy, and still got abs.

Strong is the New Skinny?

Is anyone else tired of hearing “strong is the new skinny”? I get it, I get it. We are embracing women accepting curves, muscle, and definition–and I totally LOVE this.

But I can’t help but think that by sharing this “strong is the new skinny” crap, we are simply agreeing that this is the new, trendy fad of 2015. We are agreeing that “skinny” was popular and if you wanted to be in with the cool kids, you had to embrace skinny too.

Well, I call BS. Being strong is cool. And being skinny is cool. Be whatever you want to be and set your own trends.

Embrace your body. Embrace your strength. And embrace every obstacle you’ve encountered to get there.

—————-

Yet, I find myself contradicting my thought here too. I am also obsessed with the fact that everyone is taking up this “strong is the new skinny” thing.

Throughout my fitness journey, I’ve noticed that I’m one of the very few girls in the weight room. I lift as much as the guys–and I’m proud.

When people ask me how I was able build lean muscle and a tight and toned booty, I immediately tell them I lift heavy. Consistently.

Their response? “But aren’t you afraid you’re going to get bulky?”

HA.

I haven’t inspired many, but I know a handful of girls who I’ve introduced to the wonderful world of dumbbells and squat racks (even more have inspired me).

And guess what? That’s a handful more girls in the weight room and a handful more girls who embrace “strong is the new skinny”.

I’m not saying that everyone should be lifting weights like me. Some of us love it. Some of us love cardio. I consider myself one of those cardio bunnies too (I have an unhealthy obsession with SoulCycle).

What I am saying is, just do you. Love cardio? Do it. Love weights? Lift them. Love group bootcamps? Great, me too (Barry’s Bootcamp and I have a love-hate relationship). Now get out there and do it.

No matter what you do, uplift each other, motivate each other, support each other and push each other. As women, we are strong and it’s pretty cool that we have a day to recognize it too. But hey, I like to think of every day as International Women’s Day :)

 

 

This is all just my opinion–me thinking out loud. Please no negativity but your comments and thoughts are encouraged and welcome!

SPICY GARLIC ASIAN “WINGS”

If you are an SF native or have been fortunate enough to visit the SF food truck scene, please tell me you all have tried Koja Kitchen. My gosh, I don’t even know where to begin with the amount of deliciousness that comes from the Korean BBQ beef, Sriracha and French fries that is slabbed onto a paper container and handed to you from their truck.

Well, unfortunately, KK doesn’t really fall into my meal plan during bikini prep.

Tonight I sat in the kitchen pondering what to re-feed with after a killer chest/arm workout. I knew I wanted something with an Asian-flavor, spicy zing. And I wanted wings. So, I whipped this baby together and I think it turned out pretty darn good!

Tummy happy, muscles happy.

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Prep time: 10 minutes                                                    Servings: 4

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or wings!)

1/2 scoop Quest multi-purpose mix (if you don’t want the protein, you can omit and sub with a flour of your choice)

3 tablespoons coconut flour

1 tsp sriracha

1/2 cup Walden Farm’s Asian Dressing (calorie free whaaaat)

Juice from 1/2 lemon

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp ginger

pinch of black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix flour and Quest protein. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing, lemon juice, spices, garlic, and sriracha. Meanwhile cut chicken into cubes.

Coat chicken in flour/protein mixture and then coat in sauce mixture.

Place onto baking sheet and cook for 35-45 minutes and BOOM. BOMB.COM

(LOL like my sriracha dumbbell?!)

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 225 (per 1 serving)

Fat (g) 4.7

Carbs (g) 4.5

Protein (g) 38.4

Protein French Toast Sticks

French toast is my absolute favorite. Seriously. I could eat this forever.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 scoop Quest Nutrition multi purpose mix protein

Ezekiel bread

1-2 tsp cinnamon

2 egg whites

1/2 cup almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk milk, protein powder, cinnamon, egg whites into bowl. Spray a medium skillet with a non-stick cooking spray (I use Pam) and bring to medium heat. Coat bread in mixture and cook each side 2-3 minutes (depending on your stove). Remove from heat and cut french toast into strips. Top with Walden Farm’s pancake syrup and enjoy!

How I learned to love my body and crush new PRs

I’ll be honest. I haven’t been in the fitness game for very long. I first started really working out consistently back in June. I was determined to shed the 20 pounds I gained in college and feel good about myself in a bikini.

I quickly changed my eating habits, stopped going to bars on weekends, turned my focus to the weight room…and decided to start training for my first bikini competition.

I started my weight loss journey with the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. I lost 11 pounds in 10 days–not too bad, eh? Over the next four months, I continued to eat as clean as possible. I ate 87 grams of carbs a day, weight trained for at least an hour a day plus 60-90 minutes of cardio on top of that. I was able to lose over 20 pounds quickly. But every day, I found something I wanted to change about myself. I hated my stomach, my arms, my inner thighs. I constantly compared myself to everyone else on Instagram. I knew I looked better than I ever have before. Yet somehow, my self-confidence was lower than it was at my heaviest weight.

And I was SO tired.

4 weeks before my competition, I ended up blowing out my knee. I was in a brace and limited to no physical activity for a month. I tried incorporating carbs like 1/4 cup brown rice/day into my diet but would literally burst into tears and feel so horrible about myself for eating it.

Online, all you see are the tight and toned abs, spray tans, big hair, smiles, and sparkly bikinis. But the one thing that stays in the shadows is the darkness that follows. I had no idea that during my “bikini prep”, I would be so mentally exhausted and filled with toxicity.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to surround myself with positivity and train with a healthy, positive mentality. I took up flexible dieting and eat what I want (in moderation). I enjoy a social life again and drink wine. After changing my perspective, I learned to love my body. I am stronger both mentally and physically. And I love every challenge, new PR, and failure I encounter along the way on my fitness journey.

I know I am not the only one that has felt this way before. And if you’re feeling that same darkness, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It gets better. So go look in the mirror. Tell yourself that you’re a bad ass and you’re beautiful. And go crush those damn PRs.

I won’t keep rambling but I want to end this post with a thank you to each and every one of you. Your support and your own fitness journeys have inspired me tremendously and I hope to do the same someday. My dream is to bring together a community of strong, bad-ass women and empower one another throughout our journeys to healthy, fit lives. Hope to see you along the way :)

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Questions, comments, want to be a part of our fit community? Email me at noelleacostafit@gmail.com! Follow me on Instagram @noelleacostafit and like my page on Facebook.

Tight and Toned Booty and Thigh Workout You Can Do at Home!

Alright, it’s January 4th. You’re not alone in your fitness/health resolution. I’m right there with ya. For me, I’m focusing on positivity, happiness in all aspects of life, and of course, gains. Muscle gains that is. I would like to add a few pounds of lean muscle on.

Today, I worked on some leg conditioning and HIIT training and I want to share with you the workout I incorporate into my regime to build lean muscle.

(Again, another bad Instagram photo. I apologize. I promise I will start taking photos with a real camera lol.)

I’m going to be honest, after the holidays, I’ve been super unmotivated and a little lazy. I can’t seem to stay focused during my workouts and don’t get me started on what I’ve been eating. Well, today was a new day. Today, I did a hair-flip and said GOODBYE to that lazy-girl attitude.

 

Here’s a killer, butt-kicking workout you can do in the comfort of your home. All you need is a 5-12 pound dumbbell, chair, and a bad-ass attitude!

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For my full 8-week workout plan, send me an email at noelleacostafit@gmail.com

Happy toning!

Chicken & Baby Bok Choy Soup For a Rainy Day

Yikes, I’ve been MIA for a couple weeks now. Lee and I just got back from holiday in England. We go just about every year for Christmas but oh my, this year was definitely one to remember.

As part of my “Christmas gift”, Lee rented out a capsule on the London eye. I’m not going to lie, I may have played on the “I’m an American celebrity but not really I’ll just act like it” as people watched us get into our very own pod hehe ;)

We were accompanied by a lovely staff member who poured us champagne while we laughed and ooh-ed and ahh-ed while enjoying the view and champagne truffles.

When we got to the top, Lee proposed. That’s right! My swolemate is now my future hubby! (Apologies for the bad photos, these were all taken on my phone).

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So now, I’ve been spending hours and hours on Pinterest. Anyway…soup.

 

This was beyond easy to make. I literally just threw a bunch of ingredients into a pot and wa-la!

 

Prep time: 10 minutes                               Yields: 4-6 servings

Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts

4 cups organic low sodium chicken broth

2-3 cups water

4-6 baby bok choy (cut bottoms off)

1/4 cup scallions

1/2 small diced onion

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tsp olive oil

A dash Himalayan pink sea salt

A dash black pepper

1 tsp ginger

A pinch of seasoning of your choice! I used an Asian spice I purchased at a small shop in Half Moon Bay

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Directions:

In a large pot, pour about 1/2 cup of chicken broth and bring to a medium heat. Add diced onions, mushrooms, garlic, and scallions. The broth should boil slightly. Let cook for about 10 minutes and stir occasionally. Then add the remaining ingredients plus water and reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.

Serve over brown rice or eat as is!

Bon apetit!

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